Hiked to: Mt. Hapunang Banoi

Sunday
November 8, 2015

Hapunang Banoi, Haponang Banoy, or Hapunang Banoy, depending on who you ask, is the last mountain in the Wawa area that I haven’t climbed. So naturally, I organized a climb on the first date available. Thankfully, everything went according to plan and I was able to finish this wonderful mountain.

For the other mountains in Sitio Wawa, there are Mts. Pamitinan and Binacayan, as well as Mt. Ayaas.

We climb up as strangers, we go down as friends.

This quote was the theme of the climb because I haven’t really met most of the people in the group. Being an open climb, I had a few of my friends invite their friend and we ended up with 10 people meeting most of the other members for the first time as well.

Strangers-turned-friends
Strangers-turned-friends

After a short meet-and-greet, we secured our guides and went up the same trail as Mt. Pamitinan. What I ddidn’t know back then is that Hapunang Banoi is actually conjoined to Mt. Pamitinan. So their trails are actually the same until the junction.

Back when I climbed Mt. Pamitinan, the junction was bare and just a small clearing good for camping. Now, it has three 7elevens (not really actual 7elevens, but stores that sell food and drinks) and there are now lots of climbers resting, eating, and generally having a good time. It reminded me of the campsite in Mt. Palay-palay.

After a quick buko juice break, we took the trail to Hapunang Banoi. The climb was a steady assault of rocks and dirt, sometimes you need to really pull yourself up the rocks. This was an advantage for me, because being tall, I can easily reach the high steps without much effort. The downside is hitting my head with lots of low-hanging branches and getting smacked in the face with leaves.

Along the trail
Along the trail

I knew that we were nearing the summit when we were scrambling over rocks more frequently. Again, I didn’t wear any gloves because I felt that I am able to grip better without them. But I did get some skin peel off my palms. The rocks in Hapunang Banoi are the sharpest of the Wawa mountains. My bag and my pants were constantly getting poked and almost-ripped.

The pseudo-summit rock monoliths
The pseudo-summit rock monoliths

There were three or four groups ahead of us and since they were taking their time and pictures in the summit, we took a quick break just before the final ascent. In the meantime, we took lots of pictures ourselves.

In the summit queue
In the summit queue

Finally, it was our time to climb the summit. Being the eager monkey, I was one of the first to reach the summit. I enjoyed climbing the rocks and looking for alternate ways to reach the top.

The rock wall that makes up the summit
The rock wall that makes up the summit

We had lots of cameras and had our own photo-ops both as a group and individually.

Summit shenanigans
Summit shenanigans
The view is wonderful and the air is fresh
The view is wonderful and the air is fresh

After the photo-palooza, the sun was already high up casting heat rays on us, so we decided to start the descent. Descending was a bit more challenging on the rocky parts, but otherwise, we were a lot quicker going down.

Upon reaching the junction, we had our lunch and a quick rest. Sadly, the buko juice was gone, so I had a lot of cold chocolate drink to compensate.

Down time at the junction
Down time at the junction

Afterwards, it was a quick descent, taking only a short rest in the rock-climbing area near the start of the trail. We bought some refreshments and went straight to Wawa dam for a quick dip.

Rest stop near the rock-climbing area
Rest stop near the rock-climbing area
Wawa Dam for the nth time
Wawa Dam for the nth time

The water was nice and cool; very refreshing to my tired and sore legs. There were a lot of people swimming as well, some locals and other climbers.

Swimmin!
Swimmin!

After the swim, we fixed ourselves and were on our way back to the city. At the shuttle terminal, I bade my new friends goodbye and made my way home.


Itinerary and cost breakdown
(Timekeeping by rosnof.wordpress.com)

  • 05:30 ETD Sta. Lucia Mall, Jeep to Montalban
    • P28 per head
  • 06:09 ETA Brgy. San Rafael Dulo, Tricycle to Sitio Wawa
    • P10 per head
  • 06:33 ETA Sitio Wawa, Register and secure guides
    • P2 per head, DENR registration
    • P20 per group, Baranggay donation fee (no minimum and maximum)
    • P400 per day, up to 8 people, guide fee (minimum)
  • 07:05 Start Trek
  • 08:09 ETA Pamitinan-Hapunang Banoi Junction
    • P15 per cup, buko juice / chocolate drink
  • 08:25 ETD Junction
  • 09:45 ETA Foot of Summit, Wait for other people to descend
  • 10:15 ETA Summit, Photo ops
  • 11:15 ETD Summit
  • 12:06 ETA Junction, Lunch and rest
  • 13:20 ETD Junction
  • 14:03 ETA Sitio Wawa, refreshments
  • 14:30 ETA Wawa dam, Swim
  • 15:15 ETD Wawa dam, Fix up
    • P25 per head, bath
    • P5 per head, wiwi
  • 16:30 ETD Sitio Wawa, tricycle to shuttle terminal
    • P60 per tricycle
  • 16:55 ETA shuttle terminal, jeep to Ligaya
    • P28 per head
  • 18:25 ETA Ligaya

Total Cost: 300
Safe Budget: 500

Tip: Same as with Mts. Pamitinan and Binacayan, wear the proper gear for rock scrambling. This mountain has the sharpest rocks yet. Gloves, thick-soled shoes, long sleeves, ripstop clothing, and other protective clothing are strongly encouraged.

You may contact our guide, Kuya Jeff, at 09295652183.


I’m proud to have finally organized a successful climb. Nothing went wrong and I met a lot of awesome people. Thank you Rosa, Cath, Jeka, Mandee, Eumie, Jona, Julie, Aldren, and Rodel for tagging along. Y’all were very fun to climb with and I’m looking forward to climbing with you guys again. And as always, thank you to the Big Guy for the wonderful day.

The crew once again
The crew once again

And that’s summit #15 and the last of the Wawa mountains (so far) conquered!

The traveling pink polo conquers Mt. Hapunang Banoi!
The traveling pink polo conquers Mt. Hapunang Banoi!

-jgzn

p.s.

I would like to thank my Sandugo sandals for surviving the climb. The rocks are jagged and sharp, but I didn’t even feel them while wearing this pair. They grip well and are tougher than nails. Amazing. I am not paid by Sandugo to endorse this, but a good quality item deserves the praise. lol.

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2 thoughts on “Hiked to: Mt. Hapunang Banoi

  1. I didn’t realize there are so many mountains we can climb in the Philippines. Have you climbed mountains in other countries before?

    Like

    1. Yes, there are so many to climb, and although they’re not as high as in the other countries, they boast their own beauty! :) And no, I have not, but that’s something I definitely wanna do!

      Liked by 1 person

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